Advent 1: Peace – Krista Ewert
A friend of mine posted on her Facebook status, “if you are currently struggling with or have ever struggled with chronic anxiety please talk to me. I’m in need of tips, advice, and some validation. I’ve struggled with depression on and off throughout most of my life, but this year has brought an increasing amount of anxiety to the point where it’s no longer moments/triggers of anxiety but a constant state of being.”
She threw it out there in a moment of desperation without expecting a response but instead expecting avoidance. The comments came pouring in. 21 hours and 52 comments later it’s not hard to see that she isn’t the only one.
For many, Christmas, while being a time of joy and celebration, is also a time of despair and hopelessness. The higher highs cause deeper lows and the stress of gatherings, shopping malls and expectations can throw any mind into a tizzy. There are many who stumble through the holidays with the grief that comes with the loss of a loved one, with debilitating anxiety, stress, loneliness or depression but I would suggest that it is those who perhaps, have a better understanding of God’s perfect peace. Those who struggle with mental illness perhaps, better grasp the power of God’s infinite peace because they long for it so deeply. They realize their flaws, their humanity and their complete dependence on God daily – rather, it glares them in the face daily. That being said it is not through the proud that God’s kingdom will be established rather, it is through those who humbly bow before him.
“And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
To those who are hurting this Christmas, God has not forgotten you. Rather, he is speaking to you and speaking through you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Find rest this season in the Prince of Peace.
Suicide Grief Support line: 780-732-6654
Distress Line: 780-482-HELP (4357)
Blue Christmas Services are for those who have lost loved ones during the Holiday season. There is one at Sonrise Community Church on Saturday, December 3rd or Tuesday, December 6th at Gospel Centre Church.
If you would like to speak to someone at Calvary Baptist Church, please call 780-433-0626.